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Beyond Blackboard

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Beyond Blackboard

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  1. Some thoughts on ‘web 2’ and education Leo Havemann Learning Technology Support Birkbeck IT Services Presented at Birkbeck Library Training Series, February 2011 Beyond Blackboard

  2. Framing questions, defining terms • In this presentation I will try to answer the question : • “What is Web 2.0 and why should students be using it?” • Which maybe implies a sub-question, “can’t they ‘do elearning’ within the institutional VLE (i.e. Blackboard)?”

  3. A bit about “Web 2.0” • Links: • The concept of Web 2 at its heart is the idea of user generated content – that is, that this new version of the web makes it much easier for non-technical people to put their own content up on the web • Undeniably Web 1 was more of a ‘one-way conversation’ – only those with the resources & skills can publish • The first example of the web 2 phenomenon to gain widespread public awareness is probably the blog andthere has been an explosion of the number and variety of blogs out there on the web.

  4. Web 2.0 continued • The wiki has also become an incredibly popular form with one wiki in particular, Wikipedia, having become one of the world’s most used web resources • NB This is quite a good entry: (and see

  5. And now...the Social Web • Alongside Web 2 technology has come the rise of Social Networking, with the convergence of these strands referred to as ‘Social Media’ • Social networks include: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter • Web 2 apps that include social elements include: Delicious, flickr, YouTube, Spotify • Breaking Web 2 news:,

  6. The Institutional VLE • Solid, dependable, reliable? • Useful - if not essential? • But admittedly ‘institutional’. • And has been pronounced ‘Dead’. • What is the alternative?

  7. The brave new world of the PLE • The ‘Personal(ised) Learning Environment’ • “PLEs are the spaces in which people interact, communicate and whose result is learning and development of collective know-how” - • Instead of a VLE, students would select a set of tools they find most useful/appropriate (see also PLN, as in PLN Yourself)

  8. Discussion / Activity • What are the benefits of the institutional VLE? How could you advocate for it and against a PLE model? • What’s good about the PLE model? What problems do you need to overcome to implement it?

  9. ‘Digital Natives’? • ‘an Australian study by Kennedy et al (2007) found that students “were nowhere near as frequent users of new technologies as some commentators have been suggesting”. They point out that “established applications such as searching for information on the web, email, mobile telephony and SMS messaging” were used very frequently while “newer technologies, such as blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking tools that allow students to share, collaborate, produce and publish material online are used by a relatively small proportion of students”.’ - Margaryanand Littlejohn (2008), Are digital natives a myth or reality?: Students’ use of technologies for learning.